A Counter Conundrum

Like Jessica at Decor Adventures, the two members of the household of This Dusty House have been doing their very best to avoid spending money as much as they possibly can. It’s actually not that hard for us. Since I grew up in the country at least 1 hour from the nearest decent shopping mall, I’ve never developed a shopping habit and the Husband is so money conscious, excessive use of the credit card is not a problem. Our challenge for the month lay instead in avoiding restaurants and Home Depot. 
For the most part, we’ve been successful. A few things came up that we couldn’t avoid, but I think our credit card appreciated the break. Come October, on the other hand, I have some plans for one of our first fall purchases. 
We incorporated a counter level bar in our kitchen design. We had one in our apartment and I hated it as a replacement for a table, but loved it for the extra counter top space and the informal nature of it. Unfortunately, when we moved, we decided we didn’t want to hold on to the cheap Ikea counter-level stools that had been left behind by the previous tenants so we left them behind, passing the convenience on to whoever moved in. 
For a couple weeks after our counter top arrived, we had nothing and continued to live with no sit-at-able surface. A visit to my parents fixed that temporarily. Their borrowed bar stools are currently tucked under our bar, about 5 inches too high. Something like these:

At least they’re something, right?

We could chop the legs off a bit to make them the right height. But in truth, they’re not what we want. (And besides that, my parents want them back.) I’d rather something bright, something cushioned, something with a back for support, something with a swivel, perhaps. Something like this, maybe.

available on Etsy
Or, even better, these:

 Something wood and simple gives me the opportunity to colourize it with a bright cushion. And, you might not have noticed, but I think my kitchen needs some colour.

I’ve also considered going with a very vintage look and sacrificing the back for something like these:

available on Etsy

This is supposed to be fun, right? Maybe I’m a miser, but when we’re looking at $100-$300 a chair, I’m not sure how much fun I find the decision. Perhaps it’s time to start stopping at the thrift store on my way home from work every single day until I find something I can make work?

Do you have bar stools? Do you love them? Where did you find them? Please share!

Images: a) here b) here c) here d) here

0 thoughts on “A Counter Conundrum

  1. Have you looked on Craig's List? Or do you have a local thrift store or Habitat ReStore? I say buy some cheap ones, paint them and even add vinyl polka dots (or scrapbook paper ones) and then polyurethane it. No need to buy new.

    -Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl

  2. I haven't yet. Since it's not technically October yet, I haven't gone full-blown into search mode. But, I think I'll be popping into our local thrift stores many times over the next couple weeks. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to add cushions to a wooden stool. Definitely time to find out, I think!

  3. Adding a cushion to a wooden stool shouldn't be too hard (especially if you have bottom access or can take the stool apart). My husbands aunt reupholsters & refinishes old vintage (and new damaged) furniture & I can inquire for a tutorial if need be. 🙂

  4. I wanted aluminum schoolhouse stools with backs but found them very expensive so as a temporary measure I bought $75 white painted wood & rush seat counter stools from Pier 1. That was five years ago. The lack of back is not a problem because you tend to lean forward a bit while you are eating, hopefully without putting your elbows on the counter.

  5. I feel your pain… I still need to buy dining chairs and I dread spending $150+ per chair since we need at least 6. yikes. I religiously browse Kijiji but nothing yet. 🙂 Hopefully you'll have better luck at your local thrift store!

  6. Yes, I don't think the lack of a back would be a problem for eating. But since our house is so small, seating always has to play double duty. If we happen to pull them out when company is around, I'd like them to be comfortable for sitting in too. However, the Husband actually admitted last night he'd prefer something without a back. So, if we find something beautiful that's backless… as long as it has a good cushion!

  7. Nope, no luck. Their furniture selection seems pretty poor and doesn't move. They have the same chairs that were there 3 weeks ago when I last popped in. Oh well. Fortunately, there are a whole bunch of thrift stores in this city. I just have to get looking!

  8. I can't help you with your first choice but your second choice shows up on craigs list quite a bit or you can get them at Cost Plus/World Market for a fair price, your third choice can be found for quite cheep (compared to your $200-$300) in automotive stores or farm stores as work bench stools they might not be ideal because they will have something on them like John Deere or Valvoline Motor Oil but I'm betting your handy enough that you could recover or slip cover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *